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Leesman research finds the home is outperforming the office in some fundamental areas

The insight obtained from an ongoing home working study by Leesman is providing organisations with the information they need to design workplace and home working strategies that support the employee experience throughout and beyond Covid-19.

In March 2020, the independent assessor of employee experience launched the largest exploration into employees’ home working experience. Now, based on a sample size of more than 125,000 workers, its data has revealed that the home is outperforming the office in some fundamental areas. Business leaders must now determine what their physical workplace needs to meet the experience many are having whilst working at home.

Overall, 82 per cent of employees feel their home environment enables them to work productively. In contrast, just 63 per cent of employees in Leesman’s office-based index of more than 750,000 global employees report that the workplace enables them to do the same.

The data has found that the majority of home workers have access to all the software and applications (90 per cent), information (84 per cent), and IT devices (80 per cent) they need to do their jobs from home. 

The research also revealed the home working experience is outscoring the best workplaces in the world, known as the Leesman+ collective. Leesman+ is the independent validation of an outstanding employee workplace experience and has become a globally recognised certification. Seventy-eight per cent of those working within a Leesman+ building have reported that their workplace enables them to work productively, three per cent less than those working from home. These numbers suggest that the world’s elite workplaces, which are statistically proven to offer the very best employee experience are, in some cases, competing with and losing to home environments.  

Leesman’s research has also found that 40 per cent of home workers have their own dedicated work room or office, 31 per cent have a dedicated working area, and 29 per cent have a non-specific work location in their home, such as the dining table or sofa. Unsuprisingly, 92 per cent of those working from a dedicated room or office agree this environment enables them to work productively and 89 per cent feel it is suitable for the work that they do – 33 per cent more than those working from a non-specific work location.

Comparatively, almost half (44 per cent) of workers with a non-specific work location at home feel that the physical settings they use when working from home are unsuitable for the work they do. They are also less likely to work productively (68 per cent) and less likely to feel connected to their employees (54 per cent). More than a third of that group (38 per cent) also report they are unable to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Tim Oldman, Leesman CEO, said: “This is quite simply the largest global examination of how employees are coping with working from their new home-based settings. Those organisations who have participated in the study are armed not only with the insights to understand their status, but have the benefit of comparison to a central database of over 125,000 other employee responses.

“On average, home settings perform better than anyone expected. But not for everyone and not for an important specific series of tasks. But when homes are supporting some work activities better than the very places designed to house them, it shines a glaring light on the prior failings of many corporate workplaces. And in such an uncertain time, this new data is too monumental to ignore – it shows that organisations who really understand the work their employees do in their roles build better workplace ecosystems. The decisions made by leaders now with little evidence could have a sell-by-date which outlives the bricks and mortar on which their offices stand.”

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